Tag Archives: God

Tuesday never came

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I’m up typing tonight because the last picture I saw before I tried to go bed was a picture of my friend Bonnie laying on her husbands chest. It’s the last time she will ever sleep next to him on this earth. He took his last breath on Tuesday. Bonnie is sleeping by Adams casket.The image gutted me. It reminded me how fragile life is. How time is so precious, how eternity really is more important than we think.Sikoras Bonnie is a homeschooling mom of 4. She and Adam had one of those fairytale marriages. They seriously made you jealous. Soul mates, best friends, lovers. They loved each other, they loved their kids and they loved Jesus. Bonnie said this in her post on Facebook,

This has been a time I wish I could wake up from. I want to go back and relive Monday over and over, so Tuesday never comes…but this would be my plan not Gods plan! His plan is better than mine! I fully trust that God will make something beautiful out of this. I’m broken and I hurt. I hurt for me but I hurt for our 4 children who are hurting. I know I don’t need to tell anyone how great Adam was. I was lucky to be his bride. He loved me, he did everything for me and with me. I have no regrets leading up to this horrible nightmare. We have lots of hard days ahead of us but I will continue to give God the glory! I also pray that someone will read this and see how fragile this life is. Adams life was gone in a second but I have no doubts where he is now. Tomorrow is not the day to repent and get right with God, The time is now! We don’t know what tomorrow will bring

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Adam was very healthy. he ran, ate organic, he looked healthy. Daily I watch FB posts for Plexus, Essential oils, Thrive, It Works and a host other wellness products. Posts against gluten, for organic, I myself advocate Low carb, high Fat. We often preach that Jesus is coming back. We say no man knows the hour, yet we fail to say that, that’s true to the sinner, the back slider,the saved, the healthy, the marathon runner, the organic vegan. Jesus is coming back and in fact He came back for Adam. For some of you Tuesday is never going to come. You only have THIS day. This day to know that Jesus Christ died for your sins, that the Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Our sin has separated us from a Holy God. One thing Adam knew is that Jesus died for His sins and that His sins were forgiven. Adam did not have to worry about Tuesday. He had prepared his soul. He had put his faith in Jesus Christ and trusted Him as Savior. His children get to say “my Dad knew God”. He was ready to meet his Maker.

I have watched posts about zombies, health, children, politics. I wonder tonight how many are thinking of eternity? We always think we have one more minute, one more hour , one more month, one more year. We never think Tuesday will never come for us. We view life in light of the right now. We brag on the glass of wine we just had that we must tell our friends about, the latest phone we purchased, the designer purse we are loving. Homeschoolers brag on the accomplishments of their children, life goes on and on. Nobody stops to think today I could cross the threshold into eternity. Some think this life is all there is. Some believe in more, some just ignore it hoping maybe to avoid it altogether, others are thinking all the”good” they do will out outweigh the bad and God will let them in. I’ve had friends give me every excuse you could conjure up as to why they don’t believe. One doesn’t do organized anything. (But Unions are okay)
I know someone right now who will say if your God is real and He is so good why would he take that man from his wife and 4 kids, why when they were so in love and so happy? It’s the same hurling accusation,“if you are really the Christ get down off that cross”. Something I learned a long time ago is an atheist only believes in God when he wants to blame Him for something bad, but don’t ever give Him credit for good. Human beings lash out at authority, we hate to be controlled. We would never want a God who made us slaves, or robots. We want our free will. When sin entered the world and so death, all kinds of evil have happened, murders, rapes famine etc. We shake our fist at God and say how dare you, how could you! You don’t love us! Why aren’t you helping! But we choose. We want our free will. Yet it seems we also want a genie in a bottle and life just does not work like that. If we want free will and want to sin and reject Christ we cannot expect Him to interfere in the natural progression of our choice. It does not mean God loved Adam any less. But death happens to all of us. Adam was ready.
It’s gut wrenching that it was earlier than anyone would have expected .Saying to Bonnie you will see him again someday is nice, but honestly it falls so short, she wants him here. Everytime I think about it, I sob. I have 4 kids and I homeschool. I can put myself in her shoes and feel empathy. I have cried and prayed for her precious kids and Bonnie’s broken heart. Bonnie loves Jesus, but she’s gonna need so much prayer after all the funeral and stuff dies down. That’s when it really gets hard. The new normal starts. We live our lives and she has to try to live hers. God has placed Bonnie directly on my tear ducts. I really am so burdened for her. She can trust that God will hold her hand and allow her to lay on His chest at night. God will heal her broken heart. Jesus wept when his friend Lazarus died and Jesus cares about Bonnie and the kids. But Bonnie has a request.

Bonnie said her prayer is that some soul would come to Christ through Adams death. So I wrote this in hopes that you would share it. That you would tell your neighbors and friends and warn them that Jesus is coming back. That their Tuesday may never come. Jesus came back for Adam. Please make sure you are ready when he comes for you.
This is a great link to help you know if you are ready http://markcahill.org/<<<<<<<<<<<PRESS THIS LINK!!
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The girl with the black hair.

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I’m writing to the girl with the black hair. I know you felt so out-of-place today. I mean I know you listen to us say things like we ought to love our neighbor and reach the lost. You heard it in church. We told you we want you to come as you are, today you did, and it wasn’t good enough. You asked me before why your mom didn’t want you ” I mean I wasn’t a bad baby Mrs. Barker, why didn’t my birth mom want me? What you don’t know is I held back my tears and my hatred for your real mom. I know I’m supposed to love her, but she is so selfish and I just can’t imagine a mom keeping some children and abusing others.I wasn’t abandoned by my mother and I can only imagine what that feels like. So girl with the black hair, I wish I could say she was having a hard life or she didn’t have money, but honestly she was selfish and cruel, no child deserves to be abused. No child. I don’t care if you cried all night, spit in her coffee or said I hate you( which you didn’t) No child, None.
So now you have come to us, the people of God, and you want to be loved, accepted ,you want to know we want you. I’m sorry girl with the black hair that you have come to us and we want you to be like us. I’m sorry that we say come as you are, but we mean come as WE are. I m sorry that even though I take the time to love you and have you over, that I too fail you. I know you are so desperate for that feeling of acceptance and sometimes it’s all I can to tolerate my four kids. I don’t know why we can’t love the unlovely. I don’t know why we say we want to reach people and then we nit pick the very people we are trying to reach. I know what you feel like, girl with the black hair. I used to be you.
I came to Christ at the age of 14. I didn’t know the Christian lingo, the terms, the proper dress or the proper etiquette in church. I was just so happy to finally be loved by God. My soul was so empty and I was finally in a place where I was loved. Then one day I was out with my sister. We were shopping and I was wearing black jeans and a t-shirt. I walked into a store and saw a church member. Man I was so excited. I never saw church members outside of church. I smiled real big and held the door for her. Then my heart sunk. This woman whom I absolutely looked up to, looked me up, then down, then put her nose up in the air and walked right away as if she did not know me. I was devastated. If that women only knew. If she only knew how broken and fragile I really was. How I craved acceptance. What she knew though was she was taught certain things. The number one was to shun what she did not understand. Yeah it’s just ignorance and I too can be so guilty of it. God brought me back to him after that day. I Left for quite a while but He showed me what He was really like and that He in fact did love the unlovely. He .Loved. Me.
So here I am in all my honesty. People suck. They do.
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But our God is in the dark places. He is in the cry of a child forsaken by her mother. He is in the heart of a child so desperate for love, even in a church that only cares about not soiling their little blessings with the likes of you. What they don’t know is it will be someone like You who will reach the world. It was someone like you that JESUS died for. The ground at the foot of the cross is equal. We are all sinners before a Holy God. There is NONE righteous, no, not one!!! God is not a respector of persons girl with the black hair, but people suck, and we are.
You see He was broken for us, isn’t that what The Lord Supper is about? Remembering his bruised broken body, His beatings .He was bruised for our iniquities. His body was broken. Yet girl with the black hair, He tried to reach the world. He did not stay in His perfect Sunday best, in His perfect Sunday church. He did not stay away from the likes of you. He went to the publican and sinner. I think some of us want to keep them off our pews. Wouldn’t want the unchurched to spoil our perfect little blessings. He was broken for YOU though, so I think , no I know he wants you there. Bring your stuffed animal, even if they tell you otherwise(in fact sit next to the homeschooler who brought her doll and look them right in the eye and dare them to say something). I will fight for you, He fought for me. He pulled me out of the miry clay, He continues to pull me out of the darkness. So girl with the black hair, He knows your name. Even if they didn’t.(Psht.) He knows your name and HE wants you there. Come as you are but don’t ever leave the way you came. Let HIM change you on the inside, and when you look at them smile knowing He sought you out and loves you. Let them have their judgement. When you stand before that loving Savior, naked and complete, none of it will matter.
You. Are. Loved.

People

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She posted again. her fantastic recipe for homemade laundry soap. I just bought my Arm-n-Hammer from the grocery store. Well, at least I used a coupon? Scrolling through Facebook another friend was telling me how to home-school. If I even dare consider Common Core I must be a communist or something. The handwriting program I have for my son is Common Core aligned. “Heil Hitler? Another mom posted on modesty as my daughter ran by in her bathing suit to swim in our pond. Oops cross that off the list. I also must make Kombucha, If not I am not the Homesteading mama. I am a failure. Oh and sleepovers are completely sin. Any mother even considering it is worldly and asking for trouble. Sorry kids, I failed that one too. I guess ministering to those girls was a mistake? Teaching them to pray, to shower, to love. allowing them to have fun without judgement. Psht, what a terrible idea.I just got my scores back from the standardized testing my kids took. I have now allowed them to be data mined in the system. What a complete ignorant socialist I am. My unsaved friend told me yesterday another Christian won’t let her 17 year teen over because she is not a “true blooded Christian”. ( she meant saved) . I guess I’m not either, I allowed my son over. She’s been at my house chatting, laughing, talking about family, struggles and God.

Friends whatever happened to caring about people?

My husband taught me this the other day. We have a neighbor who is a Vietnam Vet. He is gruff. He will talk of Dem.O.Crats,( pronounce each syllable, it sounds more disgusting) women and possibly a various ethnic person. He has one eye. You can’t tell because He has a glass one. He smokes and swears. He is also very alone and will NEVER talk about Vietnam. He changes the subject and gets that faraway look. He’s worked in factories and hard construction. He has asbestosis  in his lungs. He tends to come over when my husband is working on a project or we have company. He talks and talks. My husband came in and said “Barb when did life get like this? I looked at him. He said, “so and so was over and I was getting really agitated. I wanted to get that building done. He was driving me crazy. All of a sudden I just realized. Who cares? There is nothing more important than people. When did people stop being the main thing?”

Friends people ARE the main thing.

I know, especially in the home-school community we think making our own laundry soap, resisting common core, remaining separate, all of those things they are the main thing, But when you stand before that all-wise, ever-loving Creator, do you think he will care if you made homemade laundry soap? I mean honestly okay you milked your goats and it’s hormone free. But he called, and he needed to talk. So your children were on that schedule and you had to put them to bed instead of coming to church. But she was struggling with the diagnosis she just received.You weren’t there and she gave up, most likely not stepping foot in our church again. How about you were so busy making that utopia, you did not know your child was struggling with porn. It’s happened.woman-consoling-her-friend

Life is not supposed to be this hard. Cherish the seconds. Take advantage of the cup of coffee. Talk of our Savior at the Beach. Invite that dirty family over for supper. Love on those two unruly girls at church. Show them the Dad they should see in you. Not a man who only concentrates on rules and order. Learn to love. Learn to put people first. I will warn you. You will get hurt. They will abuse your love. I know. In light of eternity, it’s so worth it.

We have made Homeschooling. homesteading, and homemaking our idol. We have forgotten Jesus when he said, “John 13:34 – A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Be the person who is like this,

Jude 1:22-24

22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Friend it’s about them. Not our perfect, little obedient homeschooling families, it’s about people. I might add that your kids matter, laundry soap might make your clothes clean but it does not tie heart-strings or cause sticky kisses and hugs from your son.

For Christmas our gruff neighbor gave money for Christmas, for my kids. He said we have always been good to him and he wanted to help. ( What he did not know was we had taken a huge pay cut so my husband could get closer to home, we were struggling with doctor bills and having trouble with our mortgage. We had been agonizing over Christmas.)

I was making dinner the other day. my son came in from visiting a friend. He walked over to me and hugged me. He said,” Thank You Mom”. I said for what? Knowing my 15-year-old teen usually wants something. He said for teaching me my faith is not blind. I was able to talk to so and so about God. You taught me to defend my beliefs with or without the Bible. I just wanted to say Thank You. I never appreciated it until now.” What he will never know is that every night I pray for my kids and ask God to forgive me for failing them. This meant more than any A or academic achievement. People matter. If he learned nothing else, at least he learned this.Helping-Hand

Silence is complicity.

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Part of home educating my kids is that I have opportunities to address issues that show up. We discuss these issues at length. Some issues are more adultish in manner , but I have never talked to my children as if they are intellectually inferior. They are adults in the making. I am not raising children. I am raising adults. Sometimes the hard issues come up. Sometimes I am forced to talk about things I don’t want to talk about. I can’t talk about. I think its time though for me to finally just address this kind of issue.

I am originally from Sandy Hook, CT. A virtually unknown place until the tragic murdering of precious innocence. I lived about two minutes from the school. I rode my bike past that school many times to go to the Deli( where I bought candy) or the pizza place. Everyone says Newtown is a safe town. That tragedy never happened there. As if evil had passed over it because, well didn’t you see the news? The picture perfect town. Postcard image. Except I lived in a 550 square ft. house in the less fortunate side of Newtown. My parents were divorced and well sometimes my life was not a picture perfect postcard. The thing with safety is it’s deceiving. Silence from evil does not mean it is non-existent. I have hidden a secret the whole time I went through the school system. No-one knew.
I had been molested by a 16-year-old babysitter . He also threatened to kill me and to make sure I knew it( and because he was sick and crazy) threw me in our dryer and turned it on. Don’t worry though everyone said I wouldn’t remember. Oh and that teenager.. the social worker said he was a good boy. I don’t have all the pieces as to why the Newtown police department did not arrest him and throw him in jail but let me assure you, your brain NEVER forgets.

Two days ago I was scrolling Facebook , the internet etc.. and an old video from Sandy Hook showed up. I watched it just because my heart breaks for Sandy Hook. I hate evil. Almost to the end of the video a man says“I am for strict gun control…blah blah blah….” I look below at the description of the interview. He looked familiar.His name. Oh God. There he was. Speaking about gun control. My hands were shaking so bad, I felt sick. I immediately thought of his sister, whom he also molested. I heard from an old neighbor that she took her own life. I wonder why. Here he was free. Yet when someone has had trauma, or abuse forced upon them they are never really free. The mind is an amazing thing. It remembers the things you ignore and pretend never existed. Which I did.

So our conversation, the one my children and I have been having is about Silence. Can you hear it? I walk out to our field every morning with my daughter. We feed our horses and cow. It is a refreshing walk down the trail into the field the neighbors called “the hidden field” . Our dog Rocky comes with us. He bounces around chasing all the things we can’t see because they are hidden in silence. Every once in a while a deer will come flying out of nowhere and bound off it the woods. She was there, the whole time, but we never saw her. Silence in the face of evil is not standing up to the evil , it is complicity to the evil. Pretending it is not there does not make it go away. Trust me. I tried. To say to someone who has been abused don’t talk about it, we’ll just ignore it, is just allowing the evil to continue. Do you know that a monster shows up when you least expect it.In the darkness. Let me tell you he’s shown up in my life more than I care to say.
The statistics out are 1 in 4 for females to be sexually abused before the age of 14. Seriously people does anyone not just inhale and forget to breathe here??? This is happening in our churches as well. When Pastors are told not to report the evil, I think the world has gone mad. The church should be the refuge for the broken, the abused, instead you will find time and time again the women silenced and the perpetrator is allowed to continue his deeds. The fact that my two best friends have similar pasts and that about a month ago a man sat at my table who was sexually abused by a PASTOR, makes me want to VOMIT. Heres the thing, if you think I protect my kids. This won’t happen to them. Uncle, Grandparent, babysitter and Pastor. Anything here about a psycho pedophile? Does he look creepy with dark eyes and tattoos? No, he is someone you know. He is your friend, your relative, your trusted advisor . When females remain the object for man to buy and sell. When hollywood and the world makes the female a commodity she is only good for one thing, her body, she is marketable. It does not matter if they tell you to have self-esteem. The Victoria Secret models flaunt it for all the world to see’ Here I am come buy me”. Prepare your little girls too. Make men desire them. When our tv and Movies just show females as nothing but a body, no wonder a depraved mind can’t get his fill. He will not be reformed. They never are.

Please do not tell me just Trust God. I cannot even tell you how much that is a cop-out. Please tell me, What the heck does that MEAN?? When I wake up in the middle of the night and my monster was real, can you please tell me how that will clear my mind? Does that help me when I’m in an MRI machine and all I can think is,” I’m being cooked to death. I can hear it.” Does that help me when you tell me some horrific story about child abuse and I want to scream at you and say”Stop! Stop! I can’t listen. Don’t tell me.” I instantly have a wave of fear and panic come over me. Does it help me not feel his breath when I kiss my husband? Stop saying stupid things. Christ has been the One light in my life, but don’t use Christian clichés as an excuse to not help the struggling and abused. We think you are an idiot.

So here’s the thing everyone always says you have to talk about it. That’s funny. The more I have been talking about it , the more I have been getting SILENCE.Yes you’d think support, but people either don’t want to feel guilty or they just don’t care. So here it all is. Once it’s out there it’s out there. I hate it. It’s vulnerability and that’s something I never want to be. Ugh. I did this for the start of my journey to stand up and stop being quiet about the things that matter. There are other little girls and boys out there who have been silenced. If my two closest friends have the same background and I have met them at different points in my life , can you imagine the others. It really needs to stop. The condescendng talk towards women in general needs to stop. I will not teach my kids to be complicit. This is also for them. They get to be free from monsters. Stop being silent. Women are just as guilty as men, especially in the church. If you know someone going through any kind of abuse emotional, physical, sexual they need you.They need counseling from a professional. Encourage them to go. Don’t say” I don’t want to get involved.” Don’t agree not to talk about it. Stand up . Speak out. SILENCE IS COMPLICITY.

Here.

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It’s cold here in northwestern PA. . I know Polar Vortex, as if this is a sci-fi movie. Please. It’s cold. We feel it. Some of my chickens died and my Linemen husband is frozen when he actually comes home. This cold does go right through to your bones.The bleakness of winter can consume you if you let it. My kids of course are driving me crazy. If we don’t get above 1 degree soon I am seriously going to reevaluate my mental health. We’ve acquired a talking Amazon Parrot , conure, kitten and a dog since I last posted. I don’t have enough chaos in here, I’m opting for an indoor zoo! So I haven’t posted in over a year. I wasn’t able to sit at my computer. I have these disks that seem to pop like popcorn. This is the third time it has happened to me. I thought for sure I was done. I don’t know if you have ever experienced nerve pain, but it is not like anything I can describe.It is relentless and pursuing. I could not escape it. I did finally get surgery. I am not a fan of chiropractors and please refrain from telling me how wonderful they are for you. So I know this is not like my usual posts. I want you to know that God does hear the prayers of the Homeschooling Mom. He heard me say” God I can’t do this. If you don’t help me I quit. I am sending these kids to the public school and I just give up. The pain is too much( and it was)”. My friends forgot me, some family thought I was addicted to the pain meds( I don’t know why, they didn’t help much) . I told Him in no uncertain terms that I was done with Him and with everyone. Now if you don’t know God you will say” some God you have there” I know . You see this is not the worst thing I have ever been through, Maybe as far as pain level, but not the worst thing. He did help me through this and compensated for the lack of schooling I was not able to do. My kids are so much better now. I could just weep to think of it.I ditched my old schooling. I have so much better results now. I have more help for my dyslexic son. God used this time when I could not even sit, to do some great things in my kids lives. I have come out of this thing called suffering so much better. You see when you suffer no-one can go through this with you. You have no companion. It is not meant to be shared. I am not out of pain and probably never will be. I’m okay with that. I’ll be okay, someday. It has been awful. It has been painful and hard. Lonely nights. One thing I can say is trite things like this” You have not suffered as much as Job or as much as….” are just so ridiculous. So glad I have a great God who does reach down in my pain, because I have suffered as much as ME. He made me and knows my pain. My Creator fashioned me. No matter where I am. In a lonely dark place( which I have been before).no pitHe’s been there for me. This lesson isn’t learned breezing through life. It’s learned on the road less traveled. God knows our pain. No matter how deep the pit. Take heart. Homeschooling can be hard. I know. I’ve weathered the storms, the comments, the scrutiny, the struggles. They’re worth it. Don’t give up. I’m not perfect. I’ve been unorganized, my house messy, freaked out, lost my patience, lost my mind, please don’t ever think that you have lost your God. He’s here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQnBvUiAGsI#!

PEI Days

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I never realized before how much I appreciated the action of sitting. I told you in a previous blog I was in pain. Well I am. I have a herniated disk which is pinching a nerve, making sitting near impossible. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not whining. That’s not something I usually do. I just want to be thankful today for the things I’m sure I don’t even realize I take for granted. I haven’t blogged in a while. I usually get up at 4:30 am when it’s quiet. The rooster isn’t even crowing then. The quiet gives my mind a chance to just flow. Well I also sit in front of the computer, with my coffee:O) and savor the alone time. None of those things are appealing to me right now. I’m in a state of perpetual motion. But I looked outside today and the sun is shining. . It’s going to be 80 out, the wind is blowing. I love the wind. I can’t lie. I’m in agony. The pain meds are not even helping. Home educating is so frustrating. There is something about the wind though.. it’s like a balm to my soul. I remember going to Prince Edward Island with my husband. We stood there on the cliffs and felt the force of the wind. Scan0057Ever since we call these types of days PEI days. You know those days. When your soul feels like it has wings. It doesn’t take away my pain. it just makes me stop and remember that God has not forgotten me. I hear his still small voice. Only it doesn’t seem so small. It’s pretty loud. The trees rustle, The red brush grinds, the clouds are whipping by. The forest is bustling with activity. I need this reminder. That amidst all my pain and all the crazy bombings and factories exploding, the evil in this world, God is still in control. He hasn’t forgotten. He is still In charge. He still gives me these PEI days. The pain tries to overwhelm me. Home educating becomes a chore. Portfolios are the last thing I want to do. He hasn’t forgotten me. I can still cling to the knowledge that yes, I do know the Master of the wind.
The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Wind by Robert Louis Stevenson<a

Are you a Reducer?

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We all know Reducers. To reduce means this:
re·duce
/riˈd(y)o͞os/
Verb
Make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size: “the need to reduce costs”; “a reduced risk of coronary disease”.
Become smaller or less in size, amount, or degree.
Synonyms
diminish – decrease – lessen – abate – lower

You know that particular someone who you cringe when they come near. The are the ones who without a doubt will say something negative to “help” you in someway. In casual conversation they have to tell you(for your benefit of course) that your child has committed an infraction. They will put down your goals. Put down your kids. Put down you. All in the name of “help”. Yet they are older or more experienced. They are the leaders. A scenario like this just happened to me. In casual conversation I was talking about one of my children. Smiling, I said a positive. The reducer said in counter,” Yes and your other child was doing such and such.” I blinked . As if I already don’t know how my children behave. I mean it’s not like I spend all day watching their lives play out before me.Here’s what I learned about reducers. They don’t have all the answers! In pointing out the flaws of your life they miss the bright sign pointing at themselves. We are always spouting the Bible verse “thou shalt not judge”. I think we also miss the overwhelming evidence of God telling us to encourage each other, to edify, to uplift.
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A reducer expects you to discipline your child on their behalf. DON’T DO IT! Throw away the “help” of the reducer.NEVER discipline your child for what others think. This is performance based parenting and Christians are so guilty of it. My kids were given to me by God. They were born sinners, just like me. They are not spiritual, they are little conformists. Do I expect my kids to always perform for me? Are they robots programmed by a master controller? No, they are kids with personalities and a will of their own. I can train my kids to do right, but in the end I cannot make them. A reducer will only see the negative. This particular reducer practically ran to tell me about my childs misbehavior.( which I already knew via a tattling sibling) Am I saying never to listen to correction? No . I don’t listen to those I know have an ulterior motive in informing me how “bad” my kids are. Trust me I already know the areas they need to work on. I am already working on them. The truth is this reducer makes me sigh every time they come near. I think it’s a “my kids are better than yours.” Here’s what they fail to see. I’m not in competition. I’m trying to please ONE and I don’t live my life based on the opinions of others. I decided to use this for good. I am consciously aware of how I treat others. There are some times I want to say something( and thankfully people can’t read minds) but I always think” do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Do I like being reduced? Do I like this person coming to me informing me of every flaw in my life?( in the name of I am more godly than you)I’m sure this reducer walks away very proud that they helped me grow. Yes, thank you for showing me that I NEVER want to be the one reducing people down to size.
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Everyone drops the pickle jar!

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The only thing I heard was” Cheyenne use two hands!”The next sound was glass shattering on the hard pavement. I waited. It’s the moment I knew was coming . Then came the crying. I stuck my head out the door. “Cheyenne what happened?” Through sniffles and little tears her broken heart said, “I dropped the pickle jar”. We had just come home from grocery shopping. First of all shopping with my husband is always interesting. We shop at Aldi’s a lot. I’m too brain-dead to coupon right now. So he decided we did not need anymore bags.” Okay”, I said “but they are going to roll around in the car.” I just shake my head and smile. He’s helping me is all I can repeat silently:O) So back to the driveway Cheyenne is in tears. I yell “Cheyenne everyone has dropped a pickle jar before, don’t worry Daddy will clean it up.( As the Amish are clip clopping by smiling at me) Just get away from the glass.”broken pickle jar All Cheyenne could see was . I failed. I had this one job and I blew it. So she comes in the house and I hug her. For some reason today I knew I understood better than other days. I told her. Cheyenne I am so glad you’re( please don’t think I’m being corny here. I’m not one of theses moms who goes overboard .)helping. It’s okay that it broke. It’s just a jar of pickles. I used to drop everything( Haha who am I kidding, I still do!)We hugged and I wiped the tear away. She smiled when I offered her a strawberry. (somehow I think I may have been had) I said “now why don’t you help me clean off this table.” Cheyenne was restored. The pickle jar was already in the past where it should be. I stood there for a moment thinking about this. Cheyenne is the child in my house who is full of life. I mean it is bursting out of her. She does not do anything half-hearted. Jumping on the trampoline with the other kids goes like this” Daniel says, “mom watch this”, then Cheyenne rolls in jumps higher and says, “wait mom watch this.” Daniel stops because Cheyenne is a tiny peanut. Daniel tries to speak again ( just picture dash from the Incredibles) Cheyenne is flipping, jumping, smiling, arms flailing, hair flying, all heart. Daniel says(sarcastically) “Never mind mom I’ll just sit on the edge and let Cheyenne show you.” We both grin. What if when Cheyenne had dropped that pickle jar I yelled “Cheyenne, come on we told you two hands, look what you did!” The weight of her mistake would have bore down on her spirit crushing her. Then every time she helped with the groceries we said” Cheyenne you cannot help carry in the pickle jar. You broke it once. She would be forever broken realizing we judged her about the broken pickle jar.
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I could not help think of this ,(John 8:1-11)
8 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
I know this about home educating. I think more than anything my kids educate me. In every circumstance I can see God speaking to me. I saw it in the insignificant pickle jar. I see it when Cheyenne smiles those 400+ smiles a day. When she holds our chicks and tells me each quirky little name. Home educating happens everyday.
So this woman, can you imagine today? We would post about her on Facebook. She would never out live her past.Not because she did not want to, but because WE wouldn’t let her. We’d let everyone know. She was the adulterer. Look what Jesus says” Woman where are thine accusers?” Then he tells her He does not condemn her. Amazing. If our Lord can forgive someone like that, if he can see past her past, why can’t we? No accusers. Imagine if all God’s people treated each other like that. Instead we feel the need to share and warn others. To post about people on Facebook. Let God be the judge. Put your stones down. Everyone breaks a pickle jar. We just need someone to be there to help us clean up the mess and be restored. Jesus says I don’t condemn you. Let them post. Let them think what they think. You have no accusers. What a great lesson for us to see. He is for You.
Whether it’s broken pickle jars or broken lives, The Master Teacher once again shows me through my children how to treat others . Don’t you think that is so awesome!? I’m humbled as usual.( Always feel free to comment. I’d love to hear your thoughts.)woman_9 He is for You.

Where are Calvin and Hobbes when you need them?

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Let the children come unto me and forbid them not. Can’t you see Him? Jesus is sitting there with the children. It’s the iconic picture we all love. We picture people singing Jesus loves the little children. Let’s fast forward to 2013. Lets paint the picture today would bring. Here’s what I see.
Excuse me children are you running? No, running! You could fall down and get hurt. Children, Children! Jesus doesn’t want all this racket be quiet!. Skipping is Not using your walking feet! Now walk over to Jesus and sit quietly with your hands in your lap. No talking. If my son Daniel was there they’d say Daniel stop asking questions.(Because you know what would happen if he asked a question?) Oh and wait please don’t touch Jesus without hand sanitizer . Yucky germs.
Everywhere I go I see it. Children are not allowed to be children. Now I am not talking about brats. I am talking about even when we say we want children to be individual. We don’t let them. They must fit our pattern of behavior. Our rules for life. Older folks cannot stand having these loud children around and I mean if they run, whoa buddy watch out. Please dont get mud on the floor(that would be Joel)calvin puddle
I saw this study on smiling. It said adults smile 7 times a day( one fake) and children 400 times a day.
They know how to really smile.Let’s take all the laughter and joy out of them and say no fun allowed, sorry.
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What’s left? Staying inside looking out the window watching life pass you by? How about a nation with an obesity problem in kids? I drive by house after house. Where are the kids after school? Inside playing video games or on a device. What happened to exploring, to adventures in the woods? If you live in the city, how about a park? My memories of my time spent in the woods behind my house in Sandy Hook are like old friends. I remember the story lines I created. It was my escape from the real world. It was my Narnia.narnia
Have we so forgotten what makes a child a child that we stifle them at every turn? I know kids get out of hand. I know they do outrageous things. I did them.I have four of them. I lived by Lake Zoar. In the winter the stream running down the mountainside there froze. It was like heaven for me. On this one part the road drain came out and made a frozen waterfall you could go behind. I waited all year to see this. My imagination soared. What makes a person an individual is allowing them to express this wonderful imagination. We live in such a fearful society today we don’t allow this to flourish.
So what happens when a child asks a question and you don’t know the answer? What if the child challenges your belief system? What will happen. Is it about the child or the control ? My husband told me in his public school they stopped calling on him. They would say anyone but Dan. Why? People are afraid of true individuals. We want everyone to agree politically , religiously, socially. We want to make them by rules and legislation to force them into a mold. It starts at child hood. It starts in our homes, YES in our churches. It won’t matter if you say Let the children come, we still want them coming just like us. Quiet, orderly, perfectly the opposite of an individual. If you always stifle what is in a child you will miss great moments like yesterday. Daniel came to me. He had one of those moments. He’s a reader. He has read books on every topic imaginable. I finally got him the complete Chronicles of Narnia series. I found it at a Goodwill. Every single book! So he reread the first 6 a few times then savored book 7 a while. He said “Mom I wish every book ended like this,”( me too)

You do not yet look so happy as I mean you to be,’ said Aslan.
Lucy said, ‘We’re do afraid of being sent away, Aslan. And you have sent us back into our own world so often.’
‘No fear of that,’ said Aslan. ‘Have you not guessed?’
Their hearts leaped and a wild hope rose within them.
‘There was a real railway accident,’ said Aslan softly. ‘Your father and mother and all of you are—as you used to call it in the Shadowlands—dead. The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.’
And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at least they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

Now that seems to contradict my post but it doesn’t. We spent the weekend building an awesome snow fort and of course the worms. Yet here is Daniel not focusing on the latest trend. He wanted to savor the ending of a book. He told me he could read it over and over. Individual. So today maybe when you see a sign at a playground that says no running, or when a child asks the that question that makes you feel dumb( everyday for me:) . Let them be kids, happy smiling 400 times a day kids. WHOM do you think created them to be that way?
calvin hobbes rock

Wonderful Worms!

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I read in my devotional this weekend. She says in so many words, Can I only find true wonder in exotic places. Do I have to travel the world to marvel? Can joy and wonder be found in the mundane? In the laughter of a child. In the twinkle of a star. What if the wonder is captured right here where we live, in these moments we experience. What if I could find that wonder even in a worm?winter worms 011This weekend I caught up on something I have been trying to get to forever. I usually am running around for everyone else. Saturday I finally said that’s it we are changing my worm Bin!!Yep, I am a Worm Farmer:o) I read a book a while back called Organic Farming. In it he described all about vericomposting. Vermicomposting is the process of using red worms to convert organic waste into rich humus(worm poop and just great soil for the garden or plants). I honestly thought they were dead. I have been to workshops on them. I was already supposed to have changed the bin. So here’s what I do. I put strips of Newspaper, hay, organic soil in a bin( the lid should have tiny holes drilled, not big enough for flies), lightly moist.I ordered red wrigglers. Not the same as earthworms. These guys are skinny and long. They eat your garbage. The books and workshops I went to made me feel overwhelmed. This is so easy. Put your worms in. Start adding compost. Leafy greens, egg shells( they say rinsed but I can’t say all mine were), coffee( no problem here), no hot spicy peppers. I added pumpkins but hard-shelled things didn’t do well..No snacks, No junk food. They won’t eat it! No citrus! They breathe through their skin so you really don’t want to imagine that horrific experience. Worms are both male and female. But they still need two to mate. winter worms 015They kind of curl together when mating.The eggs look like little white balls. You’ll probably think they are maggots or something. It’s exciting. Now at the bottom of my worm bin my awesome husband put a funnel with a screen . There is a tube coming off this funnel going into a container. I save this”worm tea”. It is concentrated black gold. A little fact about the castings or worm poop, or humus. The university of Georgia had one study that found plants fertilized with worm castings saw a 126-percent higher growth rate than those treated with chemical fertilizers!!! I did not need proof of a study . I use this on everything. My diluted worm tea goes on my garden. Forget Monsanto’s miracle grow. Sorry folks. Chemicals are not miracles! This was an awesome science project for my whole family. I love my worms. My worms were not dead, in fact there are so many we are doing two more bins!! winter worms 029
The kids got in the poop . Had a blast. So you are probably wondering if it smells? Nope.If you put the food under the top layer of hay or paper they eat it, no smell. You are doing it right! The worms eat half their weight in food. They say two pounds of worms eat one pound of waste. All I know is I put it in and they eat it!! Probably more than you wanted to know but I love it. Just think of all that garbage everywhere and these angels sent by A Creator to get rid of it for us. Amazing creatures . Sit back and wonder. winter worms 012